Photos by Chrissy Hughes
Article by Brian O’Shea
Summit Middle School boys and girls cross country teams both earned banners after winning the Tri-State Cross Country Championships held at Summit on Oct. 5.
“Both the boys’ and girls’ teams performed very well all season,” said Summit Coach Orlando Buck. “Our girls took first place in every race, our boys battled for first and second with Tallulah Falls School at each race. We knew the Championship races were going to be very close.”
Buck said runners were motivated to take the championship from the beginning of the season.
“This season started off with a determination to win,” he said. “Our girls came together and decided they want to try to win all of the banners for the sports they compete in this year. That was exciting to hear! It motivated our boys to do more, too. Many of the runners would go on and run even more distance after our practices were over.”
Buck added that at the start of the season, runners did not like running hills or sprints (to work on speed and endurance) but eventually got to the point where that’s what they were asking to do during practices as they saw the improvements they were making.
“What has been even more enjoyable to watch is how everyone came together as a team,” he said. “Most people think Cross Country is an individual sport, which in a sense, it is. However, to earn points, your top runners need to come in as close to first place as possible. We’ve been working on motivating each other while out on the course and encouraging teammates to pass someone else on another team, you need that place for points.”
Buck said he’s proud of what Summit runners teams accomplished this season.
“All of our middle school runners gave their best during a very hot season, literally leaving everything they had (including their lunches) on the course,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts and their determination as a team to do more than they thought they could.”